Catabolism is the body’s attempt to reduce muscle mass by converting protein into energy. Usually the body goes into a catabolic state after heavy training sessions or weight training and this lasts for hours. The activity is mainly caused by the hormone cortisol.
Ideally, the body should burn calories and convert fat, not muscle mass, into energy. Thus, catabolism prevents the formation of muscles but also hinders optimal fat burning. In other words, it can lead to the exact opposite of the results he hoped to achieve through his training. This is why stopping catabolism has become a constant challenge for many bodybuilders and those who exercise regularly.
Many experts suggest that consuming more protein-rich foods or drinks after exercise can help stop catabolism, but some studies have revealed that specific types of protein are more effective at preventing catabolism.
Casein protein, also called slow-digesting protein, is the specific form of protein that is most abundant in milk. It is especially rich in glutamine, an amino acid that helps preserve muscle mass. Studies show that casein protein can suppress the body’s catabolism by 34%.
So if you want to stop catabolism, eat protein after your workouts, and make sure your high-protein drink or food specifically contains casein protein. This is sometimes listed as casein monohydrate or casein calcium.
Casein protein is often compared to whey protein. Whey protein is a type of protein that builds muscle faster and more efficiently. However, it does not have the ability to stop catabolism like casein monohydrate does.
Casein protein not only stops catabolism almost instantly after you consume it, it will continue to do so for hours. As stated before, it is a slow-digesting protein and this is because it expands in the stomach giving the muscles a slow, steady stream of catabolism-fighting protein. This is helpful in many situations, especially between meals and before bed.
Taking casein protein before bed will keep your muscles anabolic throughout the night. Asking your body to sleep 7 hours or more is basically begging it to go catabolic and the only way to combat this is to consume casein. Doing so will keep your body feeding on your food and fat stores throughout the night along with using that protein to rebuild your muscles. Considering that your body is naturally in its best state of muscle development when it’s sleeping, why ruin this by starving your system?
Finally, using casein protein between meals or as a meal replacement can be a great idea. The fact that it expands in the stomach not only gives your muscles a slow trickle of amino acids, but also makes you feel fuller for longer. Because of this, you’ll be less likely to overeat, helping you stick to a healthy diet.